Marx and Commodity Fetishism: Some Remarks on Method

  • Vesa OittinenEmail author


The chapter deals with the status of the theory of fetishism in Marx’s critique of political economy. It seems that Marx has grasped fully the significance of commodity fetishism only in preparing the second German edition of Capital (1872), where he gives a systematic exposition of it. One has to distinguish the moments of critique and dialectics in Marx. The analysis of capitalism and its fetishistic illusions is the job of the critique, whereas dialectics is used in the presentation of the results of the analytic investigation. The passage of fetishism in Capital is thus not a part of the dialectical exposition, but rather formulates the presuppositions of it, since it shows the illusions against which an adequate theory of capitalism has to be developed and its concepts justified.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aleksanteri InstituteUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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